I just swapped my aftermarket winter alloy wheels&tires, for original summer wheels & tires. The steering wheel feels wobbly after I did that. I read this thread here on mechanic exchange Wobbly Steering-wheel after changing Rims/Tires? , which is exactly what I am experiencing. However, before taking off the wheel again, I wanted to check if this appears to be a spacer.

Past fall, when I put on these after-market wheels & tires, a shop put them on, so I'm not sure if they had put on spacers.

I took 2 photos. One is slightly farther out, so you see the wheel a bit, with rusty break pad in the background. The second one is a close up which shows the little 'crack' which I assume could be the spacer.

enter image description here

enter image description here

Thanks in advance


You are right and Paul; that was not a spacer. I took the wheel off and this is what it looks like.

It seems to have a rubber or plastic adapter on that I cannot identify. Looking on the web, this is how the hub-centricadapter should look when not installed.

enter image description here


Maybe I squished it with the regular rim?

Whatever the black ring is on the rotor, it is not coming off easily. What do you think that is and could it be preventing regular rim to come up close to the rotor, therefore creating the wobbly steering wheel?

Can anyone tell me if the black rubber / plastic part on the rotor the hubcentric adapter?

enter image description here

  • Why did you take the wheel lugs off ?
    – Criggie
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 9:51

4 Answers 4


It's hard to tell from your pictures, but I don't believe there is a spacer there. In the second picture, what you are showing appears to be the "hat" of the disk brake. Also, from the sound of it, the other link you posted is talking about a centering ring. That ring would not be visible while the wheel is attached. I believe the only way you are going to be able to tell if there are hub spacers is to take a wheel back off, but this surely could be your issue.

  • 2
    It's VERY common for aftermarket wheels to include hubcentric adapters. There are so many hub sizes that it's not cost effective to machine separate wheels for all of them, thus the adapters are used. I've also found it to be common for those adapters to get stuck to the hub instead of the wheel itself during removal... Sometimes the metal ones will even require hosing down with PB Blaster and prying with a very small pry bar to remove. Commented May 2, 2014 at 11:40
  • 2
    @BrianKnoblauch, to be clear to the OP: you won't be able to see such an adapter with the wheel on the car.
    – Bob Cross
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 11:57
  • @BrianKnoblauch ... Thanks for the great addition to my answer. Commented May 2, 2014 at 12:00
  • @BobCross It depends. My TSW Trophy wheels have a metal adapter and it's not visible while the wheel is on the car as it disappears into a slot (hard to describe). However, my K1 racing wheels it is visible while on the car by virtue of the black plastic that can be seen around the hub. Commented May 2, 2014 at 14:23

The part I have circled is exactly that:

enter image description here

You should be able to pop that off of your hub and standard or OEM wheels should fit on without issue. You should be able to slide a blade in behind it to pull it away from the hub ... if not, you may need to forcibly take it off and get replacements. If they are made out of plastic or nylon, they should be pretty cheap and easy to get from your aftermarket wheel distributor, but check with them before you make any plans.

  • 1
    Worst case, if you just can't get the adapter to start moving, it looks like you have the style of disc where a bolt can be used to help drive it out. Driving the disc off in that manner should also push the adapter along with it (probably will break it free relatively soon, so I wouldn't expect to have to drive the disc very far). I've not broken a plastic adapter yet, but if it is very stuck, try to move carefully and cautiously as any of these methods that apply much force (and/or use sharp objects) could break it. Use eye protection too, in case it breaks... Shards in the eye are bad. Commented May 4, 2014 at 12:14
  • @BrianKnoblauch ... good point on pulling the disk off. This should slick it off without issue. It takes a little more effort, but could be plainly worth it in the end. Commented May 4, 2014 at 12:26
  • Its a spacer but not what you think, it is a bushing that centers a wheel that has a larger center hole diameter than the stock wheel.
    – Moab
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 23:52
  • @Moab - Exactly. Commented May 10, 2016 at 23:56

The black plastic part you see surrounding the dust cap in the centre is simply a spigot ring that is used to finely adjust the centre bore of the alloy wheel. If you measure the diameter of the lip that the spigot ring is sat on and the diameter of the centre hole in your wheel there will likely be a small difference that is taken up by the ring.

If your new wheels require spigot rings, I'm assuming that the gap yous see is caused by either this ring being too thick for the wheel, or that there are now two rings (old and new), one attached to the hub and one to the wheel. The old one will pop off with a wide screwdriver.

Either way, the shop that fitted the wheels should not have left your car like that!

As a side note, in my experience (in the UK, your definition may be different), hubcentric adapters are used to change the pitch circle diameter (bolt spacing) and/or the offset (distance between edge of rim and face that attaches to the car). They are metal and considerably more heavyweight than what you have there.


That ring is a spigot ring used when the center bore of your wheel is greater than the size of the hub wheel mounting, spacers are usually metal and either have holes with bolts that screw into the hub or holes that line up with your stud pattern to go through the wheels, then through the spacers and then into the hub.

as for the "wobbly steering wheel" that could be any number of things such as -

  • bolts/nuts not tightened up enough
  • wheel wasn't sat on the hub properly
  • deteriorated wheel bearings, bottom arm, drop link, trackrod end
  • wheel(s) not balanced properly
  • out of shape tyre(s)
  • buckled wheel(s)

You can tell if you need a spigot ring on by taking it off the hub, putting your wheel onto the hub (without any nuts/bolts in) and then try shaking the wheel side to side and up and down, if there is movement/ a gap between your wheels center bore and the hubs mount then you need the spigot ring, if not then you dont.

  • Your answer is correct it is a centering bushing, not a spacer in the usual sense.
    – Moab
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 23:53

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